I've always wanted an Ampeg amp, basically from the moment I knew what an SVT was. Yet over the years when I'd go amp shopping I continually chose another option over an Ampeg. There was usually some sort of price/quality/weight factor playing against them sadly. Funny enough I put an Ampeg BA115 on layaway about 10 years ago, came back into the store a week later and said forget the Ampeg I want that black EBMM Stingray instead! And then a couple years ago I was considering either a Portaflex 350 w/ SVT210AV or a Rumble 500 w/ Rumble 210. I'd talked to my non-musician friend at length about it and she boiled it down to the Fender is wife material and the Ampeg has a nice bottom. So I got the Rumble. Due to COVID-19 for the foreseeable future I'm doing headphone only practice though so I figured I'd make my life easier with a preamp pedal. After much research my options boiled down to: TC Spectradrive (Still waiting for Amazon to ship it, but might cancel the order.) Trace Eliot Transit B (Way too big.) GK Plex (I would have bought this if it had a cab sim and GK hadn't spent the last 4 years promising a firmware update is coming real soon.) And the Ampeg SCR-DI So I started watching YouTube videos and to my surprise the Ampeg sounded like an Ampeg. I was even liking the Scrambler despite the fact I hadn't liked it on any of the BA combos (a red flag I shouldn't have ignored) and then I read a post saying the SCR-DI has a 5khz roll off as a pseudo cab-sim and I was sold! So I was super excited this morning when it arrived. Finally, I'd brought an Ampeg home! Surely this is going to be a big moment. So I grabbed my SBMM Ray5, plugged it in, and then... The preamp was farting out from the hot signal. My fear from reading so many reviews and posts had come to light. Worse then that it sounded very bland. So I lower the output on my compressor to bring it below unity gain then start playing around. I was very disappointed with the results. I will say it's about as heavy as my Rumble 500 head and feels super solid and higher quality then any Ampeg product I've tried that wasn't an SVT. Had I ended up liking the sound I could live with having to control the input level before it. I hated the sound though. It kinda, sorta, a little bit sounds like an Ampeg but it also sounds like it sucks the life out of my bass. The Scrambler Is every bit as meh as it is in the BA combos. Which isn't to say I don't like it, I actually do think it's very usable at reasonable gain levels and makes an okay overdrive but when you really bring it front and center it just has this ugliness in the mids that also makes it feel a bit empty and it just comes off like a cheap OD pedal. To be fair I'm very picky with bass distortions of all types, I haven't actually found a dirt pedal I like even my Source Audio Aftershock sometimes turns me off. The EQ I like the frequency they center the bass knob on, that's very usable. The problem is the pedal sounds super thin so I found myself pushing it to 3 o'clock and I was really wanting for some more low-mids. A 4-band would have really helped here. Of course you can engage the ultra-lo to fix this and it does! But then the mids feel too scooped and I find myself really wanting to cut bass frequencies. And then there's the mid control which is centered on a frequency I don't like, so instinctively I want to cut it but then there's even less mids and at this point I'm starved for them. And the upper frequencies just sound really harsh and playing with the treble knob in either direction just feels bad. Engaging Ultra-hi just makes everything sound uglier and cheaper. Running my Aftershock into this pedal made all 3 settings (Darkglass, Rat, and Foldover) sound nearly identical. I wasn't a fan of my MXR Envelope Filter or SA Lunar Phaser, it made them sound cheap as well. So in the end I found it was pushing me towards this really tubby sound that was missing all the juicy mids I love, or a sound so thin and cheap that I felt like I was playing through a $20 amp. I found myself massively preferring how my bass sounded with the pedal off. Nearly $400 CAD and my favorite noise it makes is the one where it doesn't. The Verdict I wish I had a chance to try one of these first. YouTube clips, reviews, forums, sound bites they all really help and can be great in understanding what you're getting but they'll never paint the whole picture. I can basically figure how a bass will sound based on it's specs/construction but clearly I'm not good at that with amps and pedals, even if I hear others play them. Would I recommend this pedal? Sure. If you like how it sounds and don't mind that it's literally a brick I'd have no issue recommending it. I did really want to like it. I also learned that I'm not really an Ampeg guy after all. I'm also worried the TC is going to be a similar story. I already know from videos I don't like the tubedrive and I replaced my Spectracomp with a Boss LMB-3. Factor in that it's also lacking cab simulation and it seems like I'm in for a repeat of this situation. My wallet may be happy today but my laziness is not!